Celebrity restaurateur Drew Nieporent (Nobu, Corton) opened this upscale Mexican restaurant in 2005 along with executive chef and Food Network star Aaron Sanchez. The chef's inspiration is his native Mexico, done up for the Tribeca crowd: pan roasted chicken served with mole sauce and wild mushrooms, seared duck breast topped with dulce de leche-ancho chile sauce.
You can wash it all down with a frozen margarita, available in flavors like prickly pear and guava, or a frozen strawberry caipirinha. The dining room is one of the cheeriest in the city, 15 feet tall, full of windows and decorated in bright pastels, with a view of the bustling open kitchen.
Sidewalk seating wraps around the restaurant, providing plenty of opportunities for people watching when it's warm outside, and the large zinc bar lets neighborhood locals pop in for a quick drink. As usual with Nieporent joints, service is extremely attentive and friendly.—Keith Wagstaff